Help us promote Lemnos' link to Anzac - Make a donation now

Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Nurses promote our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial

Late last year, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) reported on the unveiling of the our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Augsut in Albert Park.
The article from the ANM Journal of September 2015 is reproduced below.
The ANMF was a strong supporter of our Memorial, along with many members of Australia's nursing fraternity. Thanks again for all your support.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Speak Greek in March - Μίλα ελληνικά τον Μάρτιο

The "Speak Greek in March" campaign started by individuals and representatives of literary and cultural organisations within the Greek community who have an interest in the Greek language and culture.
The Organising Committee for 2016 comprises volunteers of first, second and third generation Greek Australians including John Pandazopoulos and myself.
The approach to the campaign is to stimulate interest amongst the community, the school system and government to give greater priority to the speaking, learning and teaching of the Greek language.
The Organising Committee's policy is to encourage the various stakeholders to initiate, develop and implement activities appropriate to their own fields of endeavour.
For example, schools that teach Greek may organise during March (but also throughout the year) competitions, celebrations, debates, lectures and special projects related to the Greek language.
The Committee chose March for the campaign for a number of reasons. March incorporates a plethora of Greek cultural activities, it is the beginning of the school year and includes the celebration of the Greek National Day.
Speak Greek in March Themes
To assist schools and other organisations as well as individuals to plan for their participation in next month's campaign, we have developed an exciting concept to ensure a heightened interest on a daily basis. We have identified 31 themes, one for each day of the month - see attachment/link. The themes vary from simple topics like the "alphabet", "arithmetic", "grammar" to "philosophy", "politics", "economics", "the Olympics" and "mythology" to name a few. All the themes chosen are English words which have their origin in the Greek language.
To read about the themes for each day, click here.
Do you speak Greek?
Do you speak Greek? No you say, but you do, because the English language has 490,000 words out of which nearly 42,000 are of Greek origin. In a typical English dictionary with about 75,000 words, about 5% of the words are directly borrowed from Greek. The real percentage is more like 25%, as many Greek words, which were borrowed originally by Latin, ended up in English.
For more information on the Greek origins of many English words, click here. 
And for a list of some of these wordsm click here.
Speak Greek in March - Australia-wide and overseas!
While the campaign originated in Melbourne, it has quickly spread to other parts of Australia and overseas. The aspiration of the organising Committee is that the campaign be embraced not only by the Hellenic Diaspora, but also by the other minority communities in Australia.
"Speak Greek in March" is an opportunity for everyone who speaks Greek to practice it and for those wishing to learn the Greek language, whether they are of Greek heritage or are just interested in learning another language, to make a start.
Victoria from Speak Greek in March at the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial. Photo Jim Claven 2016
Anzac's from NSW with Evzone's on the Acropolis, 1941. AWM

Anzac's Speaking Greek
When the Anzac's arrived in Greece in 1915 and again in 1941, they were welcomed by the Greek people. Famously in 1915 one Australian nurse gave up-to-date midwifery advice to all the midwives on Lemnos. Photographs abound of the camaraderie between the Anzacs and their Greek hosts - like the famous one above - taken on the Acropolis in March 1941.
Ballarat's Lt Henry Moran with his copy of the Crete News from 1941. Photo Ballarat Courier

Did you know that when the Anzac's arrived on Crete to defend the Island in May 1941, they were given some tips on how to speak Greek! Not many words, but a start. Here it is reproduced from the Allied troops newspaper, Crete News:
Excerpt from Crete News, Friday May 16th 1941, Vol 1 No 1. Courtesy of Mick Moran

Thanks to Mick Moran, the son of Anzac Henry Moran, MiD, for supplying this information.

To read the media release for Speak Greek in March, please click here.

Christina Despoteris
Public Relations Sub-Committee - "Speak Greek in March" Campaign
Vice President
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

You are invited - Lemnos and Gallipoli - Waverley U3A Chadstone - This Thursday

Matron Grace Wilson on her rounds, 3rd Australian General Hospital, Lemnos, 1915. AWM
You are invited to attend my next presentation on Lemnos and Anzac.
The presentation will take place at the Waverley U3A as part of their Naval & Military classes
When: 1.30pm, next Thursday 3rd March 2016
Where: The presentation will be held at Level 1 of the Batesford Community Hub, situated at 94 Batesford Road, Chadstone 3148.
The presentation will begin at 1.30pm, with a break for afternoon tea of ten to fifteen minutes at approximately 2.30pm.
How to get there.
The Community Hub is situated close to the Chadstone Shopping Centre and Holmesglen College (right along Batesford Road from the intersection of Batesford and Warrigal Roads, travelling from Chadstone.) Proceed through 2 roundabouts and the U3A car park is the first right turn following the second roundabout.

RSVP is not required.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 26 February 2016

The Piraeus Artemis - and our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial

Peter Corlett, OAM, the creator of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial, was inspired by many things in designing the Memorial. He reviewed amny of the photographs from 1915 taken by the soldiers and nurses on Lemnos.

But he was also inspired by his appreciation of Classical Greek sculpture - in particular the 4th Century BC statue of Artemis at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, klnwon as the Piraeus Artemis A.
Peter had visited the Museum at Piraeus many years before and in creating our Memorial these memories came back to him and in the pages of the book reproduced below.
Below are images taken from this book detailing the story of the Piraeus Artemis.
Thank you Peter for creating a perfect fusion of Classical Greek and modern imagery. And how appropriate for this Memorial - a symbol of the Hellenic link to Anzac.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial - Nurses Pay Tribute

It has come to our notice that the Alfred Hospital Nurses League Inc has publicized a report and some photographs from the unveiling of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in August 2015.
In the Spetember 2015 edition of their Newsletter, the League published a small story about the Memorial in the Message from the League President, Ms Helen Hamilton. This is reproduced below:
Excerpt from the Alfred Hospital Nurses League Inc, Newsletter, September 2015.

They also reproduced two photographs from the launch of our Memorial in August last year. They should members of the League as well as the President of the Royal Brisbane Hospital Past Nurses Association at the Memorial. They are reproduced below.
The Alfred Hospital Nurses League assisted our Committee with research and the promotion and sale of our Memorial Badges. Thank you to the League.
We hope that nurses from across Australia will visit our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial into the future as one of the major memorials dedicated to the role of nurses in Australia's Anzac story.
Source: Alfred Hospital Nurses League Inc, Newsletter, September 2015.
Source: Alfred Hospital Nurses League Inc, Newsletter, September 2015.

Thanks to Committee Executive Member Arlene Bennett for sharing this information.

Jim Claven 
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Ballarat Commemorative Event - WW1 Nurse Annie Westcott - Saturday 27 February 2016

BHS trained nurses league's Trina Jones and Ballarat General Cemetery Trust's Anne De Jong at Westcott family grave, Ballarat Old Cemetery. Photo Ballarat Courier
Members and supporters of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee are urged to attend and support a special ceremony to celebrate the service of  former WWI Nurse Annie Westcott, AANS (1875 – 1951) and the memory of all the forgotten nurses of WW1.
The event will be held on:
  • Saturday 27 February 2016 at 10.30am-11.30am, 
  • Ballarat Old Cemetery, Cnr Drummond St Nth & Macarthur St, Ballarat VIC 3350.
The Ballarat Nurses League has extended an invitation to all Ballarat Base Hospital trained nurses and midwives to attend the commemoration service for former nurse Annie Westcott and the unveiling of the plaque on her grave.
A.M. Westcott as depicted in Melbourne Punch, 2 December 1915.

Nurse Annie Westcott
Annie Westcott was born at Leigh Creek, with the birth being register at Warrenheip near Ballarat, Victoria. Her parents were Frederick Westcott and Rachel Abrams/Abrahams. 
She trained as a nurse at the Ballarat Base Hospital from January 1899 to January 1902. When she enslisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) in 1915, Annie had experience as a Sister at Maryborough Hospital and as a Matron at both Maldon and Inglewood Hospital.

Staff Nurse Annie Westcott was 40 years old when she joined the Australian Army Nursing Service on 16 October 1915, departing Australia on 12 November 1915 at Melbourne on the transport ship Orsova.
She arrived in Egypt just in time for an influx of soldiers evacuated from Gallipoli. She served with the 1st Australian General Hospital. To join the AANS, women had to be unmarried and aged 21-40, so Nurse Westcott’s service was cut short. She returned to Australia on 27 December 1917 aboard the Commonwealth and her appointment with the AANS was terminated on 4 February 1917.
She married Frederick Smith in 1917 and moved to Gippsland, where they unsuccessfully tried to make a life on  a soldier settlement block at Trafalgar, Gippsland, Victoria, but it was relinquished in 1926 due to non-payment of fees.
She later returned to Ballarat. Annie Smith died and was buried at Ballarat Old Cemetery on 10 May 1951 (Area F1, 9, Row 1, Grave 26) surrounded by other members of the Westcott Family.
Funding the Memorial

The League has raised funds for a memorial to be placed on Annie’s grave to ensure she will be recognised and remembered for the service she gave to her country during WW1. A donation page has also been set up for the memorial:
The League hopes people can come along and acknowledge and show respect for a past trainee who served her country as a WW1 nurse.

Note that the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (or ANMF) supported the erection of the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, as they have other projects commemorating Victoria and Australia's WW1 nurses.

RSVP Jeanette (03) 5332 1469 or
Source: Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee, the ANMF, Federation University Ballarat and the Ballarat Courier.
Ballarat Courier Story
To read the story about Nurse Westcott and the commemorative service, click here  to read the story from the Ballarat Courier.

Thanks to Committee Member Arlene Bennett for bringing this event to our attnetion.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Monday, 22 February 2016

Prahran's Link to Lemnos and Anzac - The Story of Private's George Drew and Peter Rados

Studio portrait of Prahran's Private George Drew. AWM

On Wednesday I will be speaking on Lemnos and Gallipopli at the Stonnington History Centre at High Street Malvern. Lemnos and Gallipoli is linked to many of Melbourne's suburbs and people. And no less in the City of Stonnington, which includes the previous municipalities of Prahran and Malvern.
Here is one part of that story - Prahran's Private George Drew and the Hellenic Anzac, Private Peter Rados.
Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove. Photo Jim Claven 2013

There are many aspects of the Hellenic link to Australia's Anzac story. One of those lies in the small Commonwealth cemetery near Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula, Ari Burnu Cemetery.
Over 250 Allied soldiers are buried here, including 151 Australian diggers.
The beach at Ari Burnu. Anzac Cove. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Today, this Cemetery is located at one of the most beautiful locations on the peninsula. But in 1915 it was not so welcoming. It was one of the first cemeteries established after the Anzac landings nearby. Looking up from the beach, with the great physical feature named The Sphinx by the Anzac's looming above, it is not hard to comprehend how murderous these small landing places would have been for the diggers in 1915.
the grave of Private Peter Rados, Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Private Peter Rados, Hellenic Anzac
In the cemetery, lies Private Peter Rados of the 3rd Battalion AIF in grave plot G 21,the digger from Asia Minor. Having emigranted to Australia from nearby Artaky on the coast of the sea of Marmara, Peter had joined up at the beginning of the First World War, on the 18th August, aged only 23. The war brought him to Lemnos and to Anzac Cove. He was killed during a particularly fierce Ottoman attack on the morning of the 19th May. Peter was one of 12 Anzac's of Hellenic background who fought at Gallipoli and the only one to die on the peninsula.

The grave of Prahran's Private George Edward Drew, Ari Burnu Cemetery. Photo Jim Claven 2013

Prahran's Private George Edward Drew
Nearby lies George Edward Drew, in grave plot F 34. George Edward Drew was living with his parents at 31 York Street Prahran when he enlisted on 1st March 1915. A 28 year old railway employee, George was enlisted as Private 705 in D Company of the 23rd Battalion. He embarked from Princes Pier on the Euripides (A14) on the 10th May 1915. George arrived at Lemnos’ Mudros Bay at 5pm on the 2nd September 1915.
Lemnos' Mudros Bay, in April 1915. AWM
After two days at Lemnos, the 23rd Battalion sailed from Lemnos at 4pm on the 4th September 1915, headed for to Anzac Cove
He survived nearly three months defending one of the most deadly sections of the Anzac front line at Lone Pine. On 21st November 1915 George was killed in action – just a month before his Battalion would be evacuated from Gallipoli in December. He is buried in the same cemetery as Peter near the beach at Anzac Cove. George is also memorialised at the local Prahran RSL, located on High Street.
the famous WW1 Roll of Honour Board at the Prahran RSL. Photo Jim Claven 2015

Peter and George are two of the 151 Australian graves in this little cemetery. It was a moving experience for me to visit their graves in April last year. They are just two of the estimated 8,700 Australians who were killed as the campaign on the peninsula wore on for eight long months.
Prahran Greek Community present Greek Flag to the Prahran City Council in February 1941. Stonnington Historical Centre

Prahran, Anzac and Greece - Across Two World Wars and Beyond
Here George from Prahran lies next to the only Greek Australian Anzac to be killed at Gallipoli. A link between Prahran and Greece that would continue as Prahran itself would become the home to many Greek immigrants.
When war would unite Greece and Australia again in the Second World War, Prahran's Greek community rallied to support the Second Anzac's as the fought valiantly to support Greece against the Axis invader.
See the photo above, showing Prahran's Greek community presenting the Greek National Flag to the
Mayor of Prahran, Mr Alfred Woodfull, in Febraury 1941 to honour Greek patriots then fighting alongside the Allies in the defence of Greece and Crete. The Council Annual Report records that the flag was flown from the town hall on the day of the appeal for contributions to the war effort in Greece.
The Post-War era would bring tens of thousands of new migrants to Prahran, including from Greece.
Hawksburn Primary School. Source: Web.

As a young immigrant myself in the early 1970's I attended local schools in Prahran - the then Hawksburn Primary School and Prahran High School. In the First World War, Historian Helen Doyle has written that Hawksburn Primary School provided over 800 recruits to the Australian Imperial Force.
The Hellenic presence in Prahran was evident across the community.
In the Greek language spoken in the schoolyards and in the playgrounds, in the lovely Greek cakes of the cake shops on Chapel Street, in the deli's and foodstores of the Prahran Market (which still hosts one of Melbourne' great Greek delicatessens, The Sweet Greek's Kathy Tsaples) and in the areas two Greek Orthodox Churches - St Demetrios in High Street Prahran and St Constantine and St Helen in Barry Street South Yarra.
St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
Sweet Greek, Prahran Market
A local Prahran family prepares to celebrate Greek Easter, Prahran 1977

Prahran's Lemnos Tavern, High Street.

Lest we forget
So when we commemorate the service of the Anzac's every 25th April - and especially this year during the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Greece and Crete in WW2, remember the story of Private's Peter Rados and George Drew - and how one of Melbourne's suburbs can evidence the Hellenic link to Anzac.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Invitation - Lemnos and Gallipoli Presentation - 24 February 2016, Stonnington History Centre

Photo of Lemnos during World War I, courtesy State Library of Victoria, H2011.37/249

Come along to hear and see my presentation -Lemnos 1915 – The Other Side Of Gallipoli
Wednesday 24 February 2016, 10am – 11am
The presentation will take place in Northbrook Pop-up Gallery (behind Stonnington History Centre). The Stonnington History Centre is located at Northbrook, 1257 High Street, Malvern (behind Malvern Library). Limited parking is available at the library and on High Street.
Book online or phone: 8290 1360.
From the Stonnington History Centre website:
"Jim Claven, MA and Secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, will recount the role that the Greek Island of Lemnos played in the Gallipoli campaign. Jim will also examine the role played by Prahran’s Captain Stanley Savige."
For more information on the Stonnington History Centre, click here.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience in Melbourne - until 23rd February 2016

Image AWM 2016
The Australian Government and the Australian War Memorial, supported by the Commonwealth Bank and Telstra are proud to be bringing the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience to communities across Australia.
The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is a travelling exhibition that tells the story of Australia’s involvement in the First World War, and the ensuing Century of Service of Australia's armed forces in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved.
The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience follows a chronological timeline spanning from pre-war Australia to the present day, using a mix of arresting visuals, artefacts, audio and film to engage visitors.
A key feature of the experience will be the curated ‘local stories’ zone that will be part of the exhibition. These zones will be created in close collaboration with local communities and will contribute to the legacy for each region. 
Image AWM 2016
The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is the flagship community event of the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary national programme.
Where and When
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, 9am-6pm
8 Feb - 23 Feb 2016
1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, VIC 3006
Free Entry and Pre-Booking
Entry to the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is free. To ensure visitors can enjoy the experience, a pre-booked ticketing system will be used. Travelling through the experience will take most visitors between 45-60 minutes. School and group bookings are encouraged and can be easily arranged by visiting
Image AWM 2016

Community Involvement
While the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience explores Australia’s involvement in the First World War and a Century of Service, local engagement activities will provide an opportunity for regional centres to recognise and take pride in their region and town’s contribution to Australia’s national wartime story. Central to the travelling exhibition’s themes of commemoration, education and local community engagement, is the development of a community display at each of the regional sites. Using a modular display system, communities will be able to curate their own bespoke display that will be co-located with the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience. Using artefacts, photographs and memorabilia drawn from local historical societies, libraries and private collections, staff from the Australian War Memorial will assist community representatives to produce a display that is a tribute to the local men and women who fought and died for Australia and her allies.
Image AWM 2016
More information
More information about the exhibition is available at the official website: From 25 March 2015, visitors to the website will be able to: - Register interest for further information about the tour as it is released, and - Watch a video about the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience Tickets are free but bookings will be essential. The booking and ticketing facility will be available on the website in coming months. Register your details to receive more information.
Photo Christina Despoteris 2016
Thanks to Ange Kenos and Christina Despoteris who have both visited the exhibition (and Ange is a volunteer at the exhbition too). This information has been sourced from the Australian War Memorial and the Spirit of Anzac website.
Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne - February 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

I was fortunate enough to go to The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne on Sunday 14 February at Etihad Stadium. It was the fifth performance scheduled with a final sixth on Sunday night. Not bad as they had only scheduled two performances to start with. It was captivating from the start.
I had envisaged the roof open but it was shut, obviously Melbourne weather had something to do with it. The replica of the Edinburgh Castle stood tall as a backdrop for the entire performance. It was so realistic that you felt you were in Scotland.
The afternoon performance was very well attended with near a capacity crowd.The special guest for this performance was the Governor of Victoria, the Hon Linda Dessau AM. The Tattoo commenced with a tribute to the Anzacs. That was followed by the Massed Pipes and Drums from Scotland and Australia. 300 of the world's finest pipers and drummers. 
Then there were performances from the groups from New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Norway to name a few.
All of the groups were absolutely amazing. Their appearance, the uniforms, the choreography and the whole production was presented with absolute precision and accuracy. I was sitting in the third row from the front, centre left and was amazed at the meticulous presentation of each of the items on the program.All of the groups were applauded very loudly and with enthusiasm, but I must admit the loudest and most energetic applause was for the Australian Defence Force Bands and the South Australian Police Band. Call it patriotism or home soil advantage these two groups stole the show.
Anyone who has watched a Tattoo on television will recall the New Zealand Army Band which is internationally recognised as one of the finest military bands in the world. They don't only sound pitch perfect but they perform some very clever theatre which makes the audiences laugh.
The Band and Drill Team of His Majesty The King of Norway's Guard staged a dazzling musical, marching and drill display.
Switzerland's dynamic percussion ensemble from Basel performed a most enjoyable mix of musical and theatrical display. The finale featured the entire 1,200 strong cast with the Guard of Honour formed by Australia's Federation Guard. They performed the National Anthems of the UK and Australia, followed by Isa Lei, Auld Lang Syne, and then a tribute to personnel currently serving overseas and to the Anzacs who served all those years ago - Sunset and Evening Hymn - 'O' Valiant Hearts and The Lone Piper - After the Battle.
The event concluded with an incredible fireworks display. The Melbourne 2016 event is only the fourth time The Royal Edinburgh Tattoo has left Edinburgh. Over 1,200 performers took part in the event with 30 from Sweden, 45 from Tonga, 50 from Fiji, 110 from New Zealand, 130 from Norway, 285 from the UK and 530 from Australia. 
It took 42 Australian carpenters, painters and labourers to build the full size replica of the Castle and then 70 crew four days to install at Etihad. Around 200 crew worked on each performance. These include lighting, sound, pyrotechnics, wardrobe, back of house, stage managers and props handlers.
This has been the biggest live event in Melbourne since the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
Australia has been represented at 25 of the 65 Tattoo events in Edinburgh.
Since 1950, the Tattoo has played to more than 13 million audience members in Edinburgh and has been sold out for 17 consecutive years. It is broadcast to 40 countries and watched by around 100 million television viewers.
What does Tattoo mean?
The "Tattoo" takes its name from the cry of inn-keepers in Belgium and the Nederlands over 300 years ago. They ordered "Doe den Tao toe" (turn off the taps) when the pipes and drums of the local regiment marched through the streets signalling the soldiers to return to the barracks.

Extracts from the official program are reproduced below.
Christina Despoteris
Vice President
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee